Tag Archives: Indie

Movie Review- Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (2014)


Rating: C+/ The best thing you can say about Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is that it makes the best out of a relatively small budget and is not nearly as bad as it could have been. That might seem like faint praise indeed, but in the annals of low-budget zombie horror, it is easy to offer this movie more leeway than it deserves. Yes, the sets, the costumes, and the action sequences are not nearly as cringe-worthy as other films of it’s kind and it is actually an entertaining, if not indispensable, watch for the first forty-five minutes or so, before it gets increasingly silly and crashes and burns at it’s blood-splattered finale. Continue reading Movie Review- Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (2014)

Movie Review: Fruitvale Station (2013)


Rating: A-/ I have extremely mixed feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement and the all-around virulent attitude toward law enforcement officers over the past few years (my dad has been a cop for as long as I can remember, and I think the political climate toward police, most of which are not racially biased and have never shot anyone in their life, has become extremely hostile and the media machine is not only feeding into things more than is honestly necessary, but actually making everything worse.) Continue reading Movie Review: Fruitvale Station (2013)

Movie Review: Blue Ruin (2013)


Rating: A/  As far as I can tell, one of the great mysteries of the modern age is why Macon Blair’s career didn’t go wild after being in this movie. Blair plays Dwight, and let me tell you, he makes one hell of an entrance. A traumatized homeless vagrant with achingly sad, lost eyes, Dwight is a guy for whom jumping out of a window naked after sneaking a bath on the sly is the extent of his criminal activity, but that’s before a compassionate police officer takes him to the station and gently informs him that ‘he’ has gotten out of prison. Continue reading Movie Review: Blue Ruin (2013)

Movie Review: Flowers (2015)

Flowers Cover Art

     Rating: D-/ Flowers is a very strange film, and not in a good, Eraserhead way as much as a ‘why-the-fuck-am-I-watching-this’ way. Although it is almost entirely devoid of redeeming qualities, I enjoyed watching it, the reason being that I got three of my best friends over to watch it and we kept up a running commentary of it’s pointlessly self-indulgent ridiculousness. I’m thankful for my friends and their crazy senses of humor for making this even watchable. Continue reading Movie Review: Flowers (2015)

Movie Review: Cube (1997)


Rating: B-/ As far as I’m concerned, Cube is an amazing premise somewhat undone by a few pretty bad actors. Aside from the weak links in the cast, Cube has creative minimalist sets built on a fairly low budget, intriguing characters each with something interesting to bring to the table, and fascinating shifting dynamics between the leads. There’s something missing, but what’s there makes a pretty good watch for the most part. The director gets points for originality, and making the most out of meager sets and props. With almost nothing, he creates a story that makes you want to keep watching. Too bad some of the actors (I’m looking at you, Maurice Dean Wint) can’t measure up to the film’s mostly high standards.  Continue reading Movie Review: Cube (1997)

Movie Review: I Smile Back (2015)



Rating: B/ For the most part, the critics didn’t really seem to like this movie, and I can understand why; the protagonist is fairly unlikable, the subject matter is uncomfortable and sometimes downright unpleasant to watch,  and the film itself just kind of ends abruptly, with no definitive conclusion or explanation. I Smile Back is not a easy movie, but it is a true movie, a film for anyone who’s ever been told they have a good, blessed life, and to stop being depressed and pull themselves together for Christ’s sakes. Some people are miserable because they live under terrible circumstances, and for some people, the reason for their unhappiness is much more complicated. You can have everything in the world, and still find it hard to get up in the morning and face a day full of people who, to you, seem cruel-natured and callous. Continue reading Movie Review: I Smile Back (2015)

Movie Review: Home (2013)


Rating: B-/ Sometimes you just need a place of your own. But functioning independently is not always the easiest thing to do, especially if you’re someone like Jack. Jack Hall (Gbenga Akinnagbe, in a nice, understated performance) is a mentally ill  adult man living in a halfway house in Brooklyn, where life can be hectic, to say the least. He longs to reconnect his adolescent son John (Judah Bellamy) but his ex, Laura (Tawny Cypress,) is afraid Jack is going to lose his mind again and drag his son down with him. Continue reading Movie Review: Home (2013)

Movie Review: George Washington (2000)


Rating: B-/ Some Spoilers Ahead. Read at your own Risk. Eight years before he made the mediocre (and utterly mainstream) stoner comedy Pineapple Express, filmmaker David Gordon Green directed his first feature, a very different affair entirely. This movie, George Washington, is a very slow, abstract, and mysterious mood piece about a group of kids coming of age in rural North Carolina.It held me at a distance, I never fell irrevocably in love with it, but at the same time I appreciated it’s refusal to be anything but a true original. Twelve-year-old Nasia (Candace Eavanofski)’s lilting monologue drips off her tongue like honey; everything- the dialogue, the characters, the brooding atmosphere, is presented in a way that was both real and unreal; natural and absurd, almost dreamlike in  it’s unrelenting strangeness. In the end it is a movie that has kind of a idyllic quality in terms of how the characters see each other, yet it was very bleak at the same time. In the end, I can’t urge you to see this movie or advise you to stay away from it, you have to decide for yourself. You know what you like. It’s strange, that’s all, occasionally beautiful, but extremely odd in it’s execution. Continue reading Movie Review: George Washington (2000)

Movie Review: Infinitely Polar Bear (2014)


Rating: B/ Filmmaker Maya Forbes’ heart tugging, affectionate autobiographical tale stars Mark Ruffalo as Cam, a perennial screw-up and the manic-depressive father of two little girls, Faith (Ashley Aufderheide) and Amelia ( Imogene Wolodarsky, the filmmaker’s own daughter.) When we first meet Cam, it is the winter of 1978, and he is in the midst of a manic episode, running around in the freezing cold in his skivvies and terrorizing his family, who then lock themselves in the car in fear. Later he is hospitalized and put on heavy medication that makes him shuffle, fat and complacent, around the halls of the mental hospital. Continue reading Movie Review: Infinitely Polar Bear (2014)

Hellions (2015)


Rating: D-/ Wow. This is one the more ridiculous films I’ve had the displeasure of seeing lately. Not to be confused with Kat Candler’s wonderfully authentic 2014 drama Hellion, Bruce McDonald’s Hellions is both implausible even for a slasher and at times unintentionally hilarious. The best worst part this sumptuous feast of cheese offered up for me was the scene where the pregnant teenage heroine Dora (Chloe Rose) imagines her reflection in the mirror gobbling up an incredibly fake-looking human fetus after sprinkling it with a little salt and enthusing about how ‘good it tastes.’ Seriously? Who wrote this fucking script?

I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of McDonald’s earlier efforts The Tracey Fragments and Pontypool (I actually did an inner face-palm when I saw his name in the opening credits- Bruce McDonald? That Bruce McDonald?) but I must say this was the cream of the crap, so to speak. Looking at the quality alone I would have guessed this was a film student’s first feature, not the work of a director with several films under his belt. The gaping plot holes, the ludicrous storyline, the frustrating purplish-pinkish lighting that pervades through most of the movie- I say that anyone who loved this movie needs to be checked for a brain. Still, it isn’t a complete bust, because I really needed a new scathing review for my blog. Here it is, folks. You’re welcome.

Seventeen-year-old punk-goth Dora Vogel finds out she’s like, totally preggers one Halloween which is sure to be unlike any other she’s ever experienced. That night, what appears to be some creepy trick-or-treaters routinely torment her and eventually offer her her boyfriend (Luke Bilyk)’s head in a bag. Rude! Dora decides to fight back and is aided in her battle by local cop Mike Corman (Robert Patrick,) who randomly takes her with him into the house and hands her a gun. Seriously, can’t you lose your job for putting a teenaged girl’s life is grave danger and just handing her a loaded weapon. Anyone can be a cop apparently. And learning how to load and unload a gun doesn’t take, like, training or anything.

None of the authority figures act the way they should in this movie. Instead of immediately coming to her assistance, the 911 operator waffles and asks Dora if the killers are ‘playing some kind of joke on her’ after Dora has already provided the details for her. They put her boyfriend’s motherfucking head in a motherfucking bag, lady. Do you think you could send some fuckin’ back up before someone else loses their crown? Then there’s the little satanic moppets who want Dora’s baby for some Rosemary’s Baby type shit. They wear screwed-up masks (one of which looks like it came straight off the kid from The Orphanage) and keep trilling ‘Blood for Baby!’ in weirdo distorted voices. Turns out, Dora’s little angel is growing at a rapid rate- and plans to feed on her flesh as soon as it emerges from her body. The evil trick-or-treaters’ jobs are to see this plan to completion.

But this movie is so darn corny and ridiculous to care what will happen to Dora or whether she will be devoured by Baby Munster. The lighting is distracting- it feels very unnecessary and low-budget and detracts from a movie that has enough damn problems to begin with. The special effects and acting are surprisingly on a scale of not-so-terrible to pretty good, but the script is ludicrous and suffers from a multitude of exasperating implausibilities and plot holes. We see that Dora’s tormentors are not quite human when salt gets poured on one of them and it literally sizzles and perishes on the spot, but Dora doesn’t get the idea to use the salt as a weapon until 2/3 of the way into the movie.

Maybe she sees salt melt people on a regular basis. I was like use the salt, use the salt, use the salt! The Frog Brothers could have told you that. But you can’t guide the character in a horror film’s decision-making. That’s what video games are for. Dora remains infuriatingly obtuse and the police force remains bollocks and this movie remains lame. Lame and implausible and oh-so-very cheap. If unintentional comedies are your thing, this movie may be your new favorite cult classic. If you want an intelligent, well-constructed horror movie that doesn’t make you roll your eyes, oh, every five seconds, stay far, far away from this appalling dud.